reviews\ Oct 8, 2002 at 8:00 pm

Scooby-Doo! Nights of 100 Frights! - GC - Review

When people hear the words “license” and “game” in the same sentence, they tend to cringe.  The past has not proven very kind to games based on licenses, as only a few good ones have come out in the past few years (Spider-Man comes to mind, but that’s about it).  However, fans looking for a decent Scooby-Doo game will be pleasantly surprised.  Night of 100 Frights is a good action game that actually manages to make excellent use of its license.

The game opens with the gang (Scooby, Shaggy, Velma, Daphne, and Fred) driving in the Mystery Machine to visit Holly, Daphne’s long time friend.  Her inventor uncle has disappeared, and naturally the gang is on the case.  They meet up with Holly, crack some jokes, and enter the house to search for the missing uncle.  Well, everyone except for Shaggy and Scooby, who wuss out and wait outside.  However, Shaggy soon gets lost (or, rather, falls in a hole) and Scooby is left all by his lonesome to search for his missing buddies.

The gameplay is fairly simple; as Scooby, you hop platforms, jump on baddies and collect Scooby Snacks, which act as tokens to unlock levels in the game.  To proceed in the game, you’ll need to find various inventions that will help you on your way.  These range from a football helmet to galoshes.  These tools enhance the gameplay and often require you to backtrack in order to obtain things that you couldn’t before.  The game also boasts a large amount of original villains from the TV show.  Also, there is a “Monster Gallery” which allows you to see stats on the villains in the game, including on which episode they debuted, their names, and other Scooby tidbits.

The graphics are impressive in that they maintain quite closely the original look of the show (well, with 3D polygons, of course).  The end result is aesthetically pleasing, even if the backgrounds and character models aren’t as overly complex and detailed as other games.  The game kind of manages an almost “toon-shaded” look.

The best part of the game has to be the sound.  The characters are professionally acted (and very well, might I add) and the sound effects are taken straight out of the original Hanna-Barbera cartoon show.  Scooby muses quite frequently throughout the game, basically every time an enemy shows up, Scooby yells “Ruh-oh, ruh rombie!!” or whatever monster appears.  Also, the game’s audio implements one feature which, above all, makes the game loyal to the TV show- a laugh track.  A cheesy, canned laugh track.  The laugh track goes off whenever someone tells a bad joke, or during the game when Scooby does something awkward or funny.  This feature actually manages to enhance the gameplay and make the game emulate the style of the show.

Although the gameplay is a bit on the simplistic side, the abundance of style more than makes up for the game’s shortcomings.  Fans of the show will enjoy the appearances of the assorted villains from the original show as well as the overall experience, which is extremely accurate to the feel of the TV show.  Any Scooby fan with a Cube needs to give this game a look.

Reviewer’s Scoring Details

Gameplay: 7.5

The gameplay is fairly simple platforming, basic running, jumping, and collecting of Scooby snacks are pretty much all you do.  However, as the game progresses, you’ll find various tools you can use to help you dispose of bad guys and get to hard to reach places.  Also, so much of the original feel and style from the show has been preserved that you can’t help but feel charmed, even when performing the most mundane tasks in the game. 

Graphics:  8.5 
The graphics are impressively true to the feel of the TV show.  All the characters have been faithfully reproduced, and Scooby’s animation could have been lifted right out of the show.

Sound:  9.0 
The sound is where Night of 100 Frights really shines.  While sometimes the sounds and voices sound a little tinny and compressed, the amount of attention to maintaining the feel of the show from an auditory standpoint is very evident.  The characters are voiced by the same actors from the recent direct-to-video movies, while such actors as Don Knotts, Tim Curry and Tim Conway lend their talents to supporting roles.  Also, a laugh track runs through the course of the game and goes off whenever Scooby does something funny, which definitely enhances the TV show feel of the game.  The music is comprised of various tunes from the original TV show as well as variations on the songs. 

Difficulty: Medium

Concept:  8.5
Nearly all aspects of the TV show are accurately recreated, from the introduction to the animation.  Plus, the audio is right on par with the show.  Fans of the TV show will be very satisfied.

Overall: 8.0
While Scooby-Doo! Night of 100 Frights is a relatively simplistic platforming game, kids and fans of the TV show alike will be enthralled by the extraordinary faithfulness to the original as well as the attention to detail.  Plus, you gotta love the laugh track.


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